Germany and Italy will each lose a grand prix race next year after F1 chiefs announced a big shake-up to the 2007 calendar that will see the number of races drop from 18 to 17.

The San Marino GP at Imola will definitely be axed, as will the European GP - and that means teams will only travel to one of Hockenheim and Nurburgring next year. Drivers will be happy, however, to see that Spa in Belgium has been reinstated - and with it, the awesome Eau Rouge corner, believed to be the most exciting bend in motor racing.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) announced the start of the 2007 season would revert to its traditional Melbourne home on March 18, and would finish as usual in Brazil during October. Despite fears that the US GP would be axed following the withdrawal of all Michelin-equipped teams in 2005 over a tyre row, the Indianapolis race has been given the go ahead. The British GP at Silverstone will take place in July.

Imola is the home circuit of Ferrari and the site of Ayrton Senna’s tragic death in 1994.